Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Britain to fine Facebook over data breach

Daniel Leal-olivas  AFP  Getty Images Daniel Leal-olivas AFP Getty Images
Kenny Thornton | 11 July, 2018, 17:24

The social media giant has been under pressure from governments in Europe and the USA since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, revealing that the consulting company gained access to the personal data of 87 million Facebook users from an academic researcher.

Social media giant Facebook was dealt a blow this morning when a prominent United Kingdom watchdog said it planned to impose a maximum fine on the company for two breaches of the Data Protection Act. However, because the abuse took place before the introduction of the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation, which allows fines of up to 4% of global annual revenues, the ICO is only able to fine Facebook £500,000 ($663,610, ) which is the limit under older British data protection law. The ICO said it was providing the interim report to help that inquiry.

The ICO investigation found that Facebook "contravened the law by failing to safeguard people's information" and didn't inform its users "about how their information was harvested by others".

"Facebook should now make the results of their internal investigations known to the ICO, our committee and other relevant investigatory authorities".

Facebook is facing a record £500,000 fine for twice breaching the Data Protection Act. This is the maximum fine the Information Commissioner's Office can impose, BBC reported on Wednesday.

Facebook will get a chance to respond to the proposed penalties before the ICO releases a final decision.

Turkey sacks 18,500 state employees over alleged 'terror' links
Turkish media dubbed the decree as the "last" with officials indicating the state of emergency could end as early as Monday. Turkey has been in a state of emergency since the attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced questioning by USA and European Union lawmakers over how Cambridge Analytica improperly got hold of the personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher. Facebook initially said the scandal affected about 310,000 Australians in total.

She added: "Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risk being disrupted because the average voter has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes".

"The complaint seeks financial recompense for the unauthorised access to, and use of, their personal data".

Cambridge Analytica, a London firm financed by wealthy US Republican donors, worked for the 2016 Trump campaign and for a while employed Steve Bannon, the CEO of US President Donald Trump's campaign and later a White House adviser.

The ICO said its investigation is continuing and the next phase is expected to be concluded by the end of October.

The report sets out regulatory action taken against a number of the star players in this year's data scandal, including a criminal prosecution against Cambridge Analytica's parent biz SCL Elections Ltd - which has since folded, in name at least - for failing to properly deal with the ICO's enforcement notice. "That's why greater and genuine transparency about the use of data analytics is vital".

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